Posting by Barb:
After Mike left I had a week with just Allison. It was kind of nice to have her all to myself. So we rented a car and just did some road trips. Our first stop was a visit to the big city, Suva. It was quite the contrast from cruising the Yasawas. We walked for miles, meandering our way around heavily trafficked sidewalks and made a few stops. The museum was interesting and my favorite exhibit was the double hulled canoe which was used hundred plus years ago to cross oceans with nothing more than one sail, huge oars and a little enclosed deck for inclement weather. We stopped at Albert Park and it was sad to see how run down and dilapidated it had become with fountains devoid of water and overgrown with vegetation. Our highlight of our trip to Suva was the dining experiences. We had a meal at Daikoku, where the chef cooked a dinner in front of us using his acrobatic, culinary skills. We ate at Ashiyana where I experienced the best, authentic Indian cuisine that I have ever had. That is the best Butter Chicken I have ever had. Suva made Allison a little anxious as for the most part it was overcrowded and dirty so we headed back to our quiet little boat after one night.
We spent an afternoon visiting the Sabeto hot springs and mud pools. Once we arrived there we quickly put on our swim suits and covered ourselves with thick mud. We had to wait for the mud to dry before we could wash off. The cleansing process involved dunking ourselves in 3 different pools all heated by a hot spring. The mud is supposed to cleanse and rejuvenate the skin. I am not sure if it did that but we had a lot of fun. We finished the mud bath experience with a $7 traditional Fijian lunch. This included a whole fish, eyes and all, cooked in coconut milk. The vegetables were green Taro leaves and a few pieces of cassava ; all to be eaten with our fingers as cutlery was not provided. So it was eaten in true Fijian fashion. Probably not the best culinary experience but it was definitely a ‘must do’ when in Fiji.
Our last road trip was a visit to Sri Siva Subramaniya, the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere. We took the guided tour and got a small introduction to Hinduism, the worship of a number of personal gods. It was interesting even if the tour was a little rushed.
I loved and cherished every minute of my time with Allison and it was a tearful good bye. Next visit will hopefully be Christmas in New Zealand with Allison and Dylan!!